On Sunday, August 30, Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana as a category-4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. As a result, more than 1 million homes and businesses were left without power in Louisiana and Mississippi. After it swept out of the Gulf and into the Northeast, the rains from Ida wreaked havoc across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. US. Major interstates across the Northeast flooded. Water rushed into a number of New York City subway stations, and more than 800 subway riders had to be evacuated.
Our DMT staff and IRUSA volunteers are now in Louisiana to help with disaster assessments for families affected by Hurricane Ida. They are also working with teams in New York to help families affected by the floods there.
Through our disaster assessments, we’re working to help families affected by Hurricane Ida get their power restored, their homes rebuilt, and get the vital resources they need so that life can begin to return to normal. Your contribution to IRUSA’s USA Humanitarian Aid fund supports recovery and relief for impacted families today.
From wildfires along the West Coast to hurricanes near the Gulf to flooding along the Eastern Seaboard, 2021 has brought an immense amount of natural-disasters to neighborhoods all across the United States.
Islamic Relief USA’s Disaster Management Team stays connected to local groups, as well as the Red Cross, FEMA, and the National VOAD, so that, if we are called upon by those on the ground, at a moment’s notice, our teams and volunteers can deploy to disaster zones. Disaster assessments, shelter management, distribution of water, food, or other items, as well as planning to help in the longer-term, with community preparedness training, home rebuilding are just some of the ways that we are able to help serve survivors during these critical times.
This important work, from the immediate response to the long-term support, can only happen through your donations. So, please, give generously to our US Humanitarian Aid fund to help see these efforts through.
Homelessness, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water access, sanitation, and health care aren’t just international problems. They exist right here at home in our neighborhoods. The end of 2020 brought the sharpest rise in the U.S. poverty rate since the 1960s, according to a study by the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame, placing the poverty rate now at 11.8%.
Much, but not all, of this can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, but the suffering of so many American families extends well beyond that:
For instance, “Black Americans were more than twice as likely to be poor as their White counterparts in December—an improvement from the summer months when they were nearly three times more apt to live in poverty—but an increase from before the pandemic, when the differential was under 2,” adds the Bloomberg article that cited the study.
And when disaster strikes, like brutal winter weather, tornadoes, wildfires, or man-made tragedies, the need for urgent aid and support grows exponentially especially for families already vulnerable to poverty and suffering.
As Islam teaches us, charity starts at home, and that’s why Islamic Relief USA is dedicated to supporting work across America that makes sure families have shelter, kids have food, and disaster survivors and refugees get the support they need. In 2020 alone, IRUSA reached vulnerable communities in more than 350 cities nationwide!
Here’s just a sampling of our recent efforts across the U.S.
As much as we’ve been able to achieve in helping our neighbors in need, there is still so much more to do. If we work together—with YOU—we can make the vision of a better living condition for our vulnerable community members a reality.
Please donate now and help break the chains of poverty and pain for our most-vulnerable neighbors.
Basher was the first client of a special program IRUSA donors put together to help refugees new to North Carolina, by providing support like rent assistance and case management, as well as guiding them through social services and getting them acclimated to their new communities. What made this program really special is that it was dedicated to those who have had difficulty settling because of medical conditions or psychological trauma and low English proficiency.
Basher, a refugee from Syria, was this program’s first client.
His road to North Carolina was difficult: He was tortured in Syria, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He escaped with his mother, and now found himself in a completely new place, not knowing how to restart.
In comes the IRUSA Refugee program. Basher made this important connection and got to work right away on setting himself up for success. He started taking English lessons for 20 hours a week. IRUSA’s regional case manager Wasif Qureshi, who worked directly with Basher, added that Basher noted that he wanted to work with computers or be a translator. As he worked first on creating a resume and improving his English, Basher set his sights on getting a job.
Two years after coming to the States, Basher had enrolled in college. Throughout his studies, Basher has maintained a 4.0 GPA (grade point average) and is dedicated to keep that streak going. On top of that, Basher and his mother have moved to a new home through the help of IRUSA, and Basher is going through physical therapy.
But the most remarkable part of his journey so far is likely this: Earlier this year, he took his first steps upstairs!! And with therapy he hopes he can do more.